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Have you ever thought of having an AED in workplace? If not, this is the right time that you ensure the device is readily available because it can help save life in case of an emergency. Just like an electrical pump, the heart work without stopping in order to pump blood to all parts of the body. However, there are instances when the heart fails to beat. This is a health situation that is referred to as cardiac arrest in which the heart cannot pump blood to the brain or other parts of the body. Cardiac arrest is a fatal problem and in many cases, victims die before emergency help can be provided.  This is a situation that can occur at any time or place. This is why automated external defibrillator is a crucial device as it can help solve the problem immediately it occurs.

How it Works?

An AED assist in normalizing the heart working condition. It has the ability to find whether the victim need shock or not. It discharges electric current and normalize the uncoordinated contraction of the muscles of the heart. The good thing about the device is that it is easy to use for everyone.

Why Have an AED in The Workplace?

In Canada, heart problems act as one of the major cause of deaths in workplaces. It is, therefore important for employees to ensure that they have AED in workplace and train employees on how to use it, so that any emergency that occurs can be dealt with immediately. It ensures that any employee who suffers from cardiac arrest gets the basic treatment and makes the heart to keep on functioning effectively until an emergency service provider arrives or until the victim reaches the hospital for advanced treatment. Employees need to be trained on the best practices when using the device to ensure they are efficient when giving AED first aid. There are many organizations in Canada that offer AED first aid training, thus it is easy to have the employees trained.

AED Pads on a Manikin

AED Pads on a Manikin


It is hard to predict when the heart can stop functioning and getting treated using AED in workplace is the same as having first aid treatment. The device increases the survival rate of a patient by almost 75 percent, unlike the popular CPR that only increases the rate of survival by 5 percent.  Thus, having AED in workplace and employees who are trained to use it is a great asset to any organization.

It is estimated that hundreds of people die each day because of sudden heart problems in Canada. AED first aid can be carried out by any person as long as one has undergone training on how to use the device effectively.

Automated External Defibrillators or AED refer to computerized devices that help people save the life of a victim of cardiac arrest. The device has the ability to monitor the rhythm of the heart and can deliver electric shock to the chest when required just like the paddle defibrillator that was used in the hospital. One of the major causes of cardiac arrest is abnormalities of the heartbeat that makes it unable to pump blood to body organs and the brain.

CPR is a Must with AED

One important point that should be noted is that AED first aid cannot be used as a substitute for CPR. Any person who has undergone training on how to use AED must be trained in CPR. This is because CPR is a key step in helping establish blood circulation and oxygen delivery to the body. The device may also instruct the first aider to continue with CPR as it analyses how the heart of the victim is beating. Studies have shown that even when CPR is given, there are higher rate of death if defibrillation is not done immediately.

How to Setup an AED

The first step when using defibrillator is to check the condition of the victim to find how he or she responds and then call emergency service providers. If the victim does not show any signs of breathing or has abnormal breathing, you should start CPR. Then you need to check if there is pulse and in case there isn’t, you should turn on the AED. A second rescuer should move on to use CPR until the defibrillator is attached.

AED Trainer for First Aid and CPR

AED Trainer for First Aid and CPR

An AED contains patches or electro pads that are applied to the chest of the victim. They are connected to a computerized monitoring device that delivers the electric current. There are a wide variety of AED’s, but all of them work in the same way. After application of the patches to the chest of the patient, it records and makes an evaluation of the rhythm of the heart. You just need to follow the instructions through text messages, lights and verbal prompts given by the device. The good thing is that with proper training, it is easy to carry out AED first aid without having to take the patient to the hospital.

cords and pads for home aed kit

AED rescue pads disconnected from the unit

If you have watched medical programs on the media, you may have experienced a situation where a patient is brought back to life using an automated external defibrillator. The procedure may look complicated because of the situation in which it is applied, but you can do it at home. The only thing you need to note is that the procedure cannot be applied to everyone. If a patient has a certain type of heart problem that AED cannot correct you should not use it.  AEDs for home use in Canada do not have any prescriptions. However, the main question you just ask yourself is whether it could be of help to you. If you are you are not sure; it is good to seek advice from your doctor.

Benefits of using a Home AED

A home AED is useful in case someone suffers from cardiac arrest. This is a condition that occurs when there is a disruption and the heart beat faster than normal or turns chaotic. This makes the heart fail to pump the blood in the body effectively. This makes the body organs to get starved of blood. In case of survival, the chances of getting permanent damage of the brain are very high. This calls for need for the problem to be rectified quickly. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a crucial step in the rectification process and allows some blood to flow to your brain and heart for a short period. However, it is only the use of AED that can restore the normal heart rhythm, thus saving the life of the patient.

Best practice when using a Home AED Kit

If a person experience ventricular fibrillation, you should grab the device and connect it to the chest of the patient in order to check the rhythm. If the problem can be resolved, the device helps by sending electrical current to the muscle of the heart. It will normalize the heart rhythm, thus saving your life. However, it is still important to call emergency help first in order to get more assistance in the process. You must start with CPR before turning on your home AED.

Over the counter home AED devices are safe to use. However, you will require prescriptions before purchasing it. It is also important to note that AED to start the heart can only be used on children over the eight years and who weigh more than fifty five pounds.

Where to Learn to Use and AED?

To learn how to effectively use an automated external defibrillator and know when to use one enrol in a first aid and / or CPR course with a workplace approved provider near you.

tools for aed training programs

Tools for AED training programs

AED training programs aim to educate people on how to use Automated External Defibrillators to handle cases of cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is one of the most fatal health conditions not only in Canada, but in the entire world. This is a state in which the heart fails to pump blood throughout the body instantly. The condition differs from heart attack in that it results from blocking of veins that supply blood to the muscles and heart. In case immediate help is not provided, a victim can lose life in less than five minutes. In order to be able to deal with such situation it is good to be well equipped with enough knowledge and skills on how to use AED effectively. The device will help provide electric shock in order restore normal heart functions and normal breathing. The device has several features and can be used in any kind of environment. With the required CPR training and equipment it is possible to save a life of a victim of cardiac arrest. Most of the AED training programs educate people on how they can help victims of cardiac arrest and the best first aid they need to provide in order to ensure there is success in the entire process.

How to Choose AED Training Programs

Candidates looking for effective programs should look for trustworthy organizations that offer exceptional training. With the many options to select from, it is good to check and find the most reputable organization that offers the training at the most affordable price. The organization must be approved to provide AED training programs and have highly qualified trainers with the ability to offer practical training on the best ways to use the device. The training programs are suitable for people of all ages.

Purchasing the Devices

After completing the training program, you will need to buy an AED to add it to your first aid kit. There are a wide variety of defibrillators that you can buy according to your specific needs. You need to carry out thorough shopping in order to get the best deal. Most of the shops have experts who will offer more advice on how to use the device in case of an emergency. In addition to the skills and knowledge gained in the AED training programs, the advice will ensure you are fully equipped to handle any emergency involving cardiac arrest with confidence and in a professional manner.

There are several AED first aid training programs provided by different organizations in Canada. The courses and programs are developed with the aim of educating people about instant cardiac arrest. This is a situation where the heart fails instantly and stops to pump or supply blood to body organs and the brain. In case such a situation occurs without the presence of the device, the victim is likely to die. The training courses are designed in a way that the trainees understand how to respond quickly to treat victims of this problem. It is good to note that during such a situation, wasting two minutes may result to death. This calls for someone to be adequately trained on how to deal with the situation. The AED first aid training offered by approved organizations in Canada ensures that the deaths occurring out of such situations are reduced.

pads and cords for aed first aid training

Pads and cords for AED first aid training

Where to get AED Training?

During the training, trainees are educated on the best ways of conducting CPR and operation of an AED. In Canada, the training is mostly offered through public education, community forums, defibrillation programs, online courses or other media. It is offered by recognized organizations such as Canadian Red Cross, St. John ambulance and others. The content is developed by highly qualified staff or professionals who deliver the best AED techniques to the trainees.

Content and requirements for the training?

AED training focuses on hands on training and provides skills on how to save life by use of the device. All the courses in the country meet the international standards. Most of the organizations that offer this training require the trainees to be thirteen years and above. They are also required to hold certificates in standard first aid. For those without this certificate, basic first aid training is provided before starting the course. With the basic first aid skills, it becomes easy to understand and use the device effectively.
The content of the training focuses on the best practices while using the device in order to save a life. Some of the major content of AED first aid training course includes the following.

• Assessment of the patient and the incidence in order to understand the right step to take.
• How to use AED on a casualty without causing any problems.
• The general guidelines on how to use the defibrillator.
• How to keep records of information or preparation of sample report form.
• Handing over the case to emergency services

using an aed

AED setup

There is a lot of information on using an AED in case of a cardiac arrest. The information includes the obvious mistakes to avoid such as touching a victim during the analysis or when the shock is delivered. However, there are other mistakes that should be avoided in order to attain the major goal of the process. The following are some of the situations in which the use of this device can lead to more harm or make it ineffective. For anyone planning to use the different types of AEDs in the market, these mistakes should be avoided.

Using an AED on a child less than a year

This device should not be applied to any kid who is one year or less, regardless of whether the child is equipped with pediatric pads. These pads are designed to be used on children who are more than one year old. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR for children should be done while the child awaits the arrival of an ambulance.

 Use of mobile phones during analysis

The technology of using an AED is a incredibly advanced, but other technologies such as mobile phones or radio waves can cause interruption in the analysis performed. Therefore, it is a great mistake to use a mobile phone while within six feet of the victim. The interruption caused may make the process ineffective leading to the death of the victim. Other mistakes to avoid include defibrillating a victim near a gasoline, other highly flammable substances or near a moving vehicle.

 Avoid defibrillating a victim while in contact with water

The device should not be used on cardiac arrest victims who are in contact with water. The victim should be removed from any contact with water before defibrillation is conducted.

It should not be used when a victim is still wearing a nitroglycerin or any other kind of patch on the chest. The patches or nitroglycerin worn by persons with cardiac compromise should only be removed using a glove. This is mostly important in case of a nitroglycerin that is absorbed through the skin.

Times that AED may not be used

 Using an AED on a victim who has lost large amount of blood many not be of great help. Another instance when you may waste a lot of time using the device and gain no benefit is when it is used on a victim suffering from hypothermia.

Emergencies involving heart diseases can occur at any time or place. Cardiac arrest is a fatal problem and therefore it is important for a person to know how to use an automated external defibrillator in the most effective way. It not just a matter of anyone taking this device and starting to use in case of an emergency. If you do not know how to use an AED, you should not try to help a victim using it because you may just make the situation worse.  Here are some of the best practices when using the device.

Check the condition of the victim

  • Before you decide to use an AED on a patient, the first thing you need to do is confirm whether he or she is conscious. If the victim is conscious, you should not use the device on him her.
  • As you try to check whether an infant or a young child is conscious, you need to pinch the skin instead of shaking the victim.
  • Look at the breathing rate and pulse. If you recognize some irregularities or there is no breathing or pulse, then make use of AED immediately.

Get ready to use automated external defibrillator

Before using the AED:

  • Ensure that the victim is in a dry area or away from any water or puddles.
  • Look whether he has some body piercing or any outline of a medical device that may be implanted. Some of the devices you should check include implantable defibrillator or a pacemaker.
  • The AED pads should be put at least one inch away from any of the implanted devices or piercings.

Using an AED

For infants or children who are below eight years, you should use pediatric automated external defibrillator. It is not advisable to use the one designed for adults. Follow the following steps as you use the device.


Using an AED

  • Turn it on
  • Ensure the chest is dry
  • Attach all the pads
  • Ensure the plug is connected if it is needed.
  • Check the device and push the analyze button
  • If there is a need for shock, ensure that there is no one touching the patient and push the shock button
  • Begin or resume doing the chest compressions
  • Continue following the prompts given by the AED.

After using AED continue conducting CPR

  • After conducting CPR for two minutes, check the rhythm of the heart. In case, of irregular or absence of heart beat, apply another shock.
  • If there is not need for a shock, move one with CPR until the emergency service provider arrives.

An automated external defibrillator is a device that is used to check the rhythm of the heart. The device is used to restore the rhythm back to normal as well, if required in an emergency situation. While training for CPR, you must have heard about AED which is used to restore the heart that is not beating in order to start a pulse. Let’s look at it in more detail so that you can understand the function of AED more clearly.

What does an AED do?

When an AED is used within the first 5 minutes of a cardiac arrest, it can drastically increase the victim’s chances of survival from 5% to 70% or higher. The electric shock generated by the AED restores the normal rhythm of the heart in a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) situation.

An AED can automatically check if the heart is beating and initiate a shock if it detects no pulse. That is, if the person is in Ventricular Fibrillation (VF) or Ventricular Tachycardia (VT), the device attempts to generate a shock to the patient’s heart in order to restore the normal rhythm. Therefore, it will not work with patients whose hearts are beating normally.

Heart Rythms for Ventricular Fibrillation

Heart Rythms for Ventricular Fibrillation. AED’s can effectively return the heart to regular cardiac rhythms.

How does an AED work

During VF, the heart still receives nerve impulses from the brain. It is not dead or at a halt, it is just not beating normally. The nerve impulses sent by the brain are haphazardly or erratically transferred to the heart in bursts; therefore the heart is not able to produce a normal beat. As a result, it is not able to supply the vital organs of the body with blood and hence, sufficient oxygen to perform their various functions. If the brain cells are starved of oxygen for more than 6 minutes, they will start to die.

Therefore, the heart will continue with its uncoordinated tremors until the brain is no longer able to send impulses when it eventually dies. The whole system stops together and the victim dies in the process. This can be, however, reversed, if prompt action is taken and an AED is brought into the situation. The AED stops the heart from twitching by simply shocking it. The heart stops momentarily and while it has stopped, the sinoatrial node, which is a small piece of tissue responsible for the normal transfer of impulses across the heart, generates a heartbeat. The heart functions properly when electrical impulses are sent from the top of the heart to the bottom of the heart. Once this system is restored, the heart starts to beat normally.

Therefore, the only treatment to reverse Ventricular Fibrillation is defibrillation which can only be achieved using an Automated Electrical Defibrillator.

Pay attention

It is important that you realize that an AED is not fail-safe. Remember that an AED will only work when a person is going through a Sudden Cardiac Arrest or is suffering due to the heart not beating in the correct rhythm, the heart beating too fast or too slow. If this is not the case, then the AED will not work and will not save the person’s life. An AED can increase a person’s chance of survival during an emergency situation if prompted to treatment; however, it cannot guarantee the person’s life. Make sure you pay attention during your CPR classes and listen to the instructions carefully that are coming from the device. An AED can only save a victim’s life if used in the correct manner.

Automated External Defibrillator Video

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